How to Manipulate the Pot in Sit & Go Poker

It's quite possible that by now you're familiar with terms like "pot commitment". The pot is the key in sit and go poker games, but those who win it are not only dedicated to work the victory from a statistical point of view: they are masters at manipulating the pot, and we are going to explain you why and how to do it.

Manipulating the pot in Sit & Go poker: why to do it?

When we talk about manipulating the pot, we really mean the same as "having it under control".

This serves us, mainly, to make the pot grow or be maintained according to our interests, because a too big pot in which we have put money from our bets and that is turning against us will give us anything but joy. Of course, having a good hand and having to skip the raise button because it is not worth playing that trick to win such a small reward, is not the best thing in the world either.

Keeping control of the pot requires skill and dexterity. It is something we must learn to do in order to be able to play big pots with very strong hands, and small pots with bad hands. And, although on paper it is not too difficult to do, in practice it can get complicated. Why? Because manipulating the pot is related to several theoretical concepts associated with poker, and using them in combination is something that requires a certain level of skill.

In short, the better our hand is, the more interest we will have in making the size of the pot grow. But all this will also depend on our style of play. Let's say we want to try to control the table, then: How can we make the pot bigger? By making big bets.

Easy, but not so easy, because this requires always maintaining the balance between making big bets, without causing the opponent to fold, because if he leaves the hand, goodbye to the idea of making the pot grow. Therefore, we have to draw an approximation of the number of times we can bet without the opponent folding.

This leaves us with several clear conclusions: going all-in right off the bat is not an option. It is to go all in, shout to the others that we want to enlarge the pot and that they will give us their money. Obviously, they will say no, and fold. Nefarious move.

But if you manage to conceal your enthusiasm and make gradually stronger and stronger bets, things change. Then you will have options to enlarge the pot, to make it bigger and juicier, before the others fold. And the longer you stretch the gum, the better.

But for that we must know how to adjust the size of our bets, especially on the first streets. That will define the authenticity of our raises, whether we have a good preflop hand or if our intention is to get to the showdown with a weak hand.

How to manipulate the pot in a Sit & Go poker game

Poker is a multi-round game, which means that the bets made on the flop will have their importance when we get to the back streets. A good poker player with the ability to manipulate the pot at will always thinks long term, foreseeing the impact his bets will have on the later streets.


  • Holding the pot is in our interest, as long as we have a pair of middle cards, or speculative cards. Our goal here is to pay as little as possible to see the flop.
  • On the other hand, if we have good cards we will try to raise the pot. This will allow us to have more chances of winning, widen the profit margin, leave only high cards in the hand and make it easier for us to read the back streets.


  • If we don't have the best play or we are not sure if it is the best play, we will go to hold the pot. If we play OOP we should try a block bet with 25% of the pot, or with the value of the big blind multiplied by 1.5 if the blinds are high.
  • It is convenient to bet here, because if we let the other player bet, the amount to bet will depend on him, which responds only to his interests, and we always want to play based on ours.
  • If we play IP, let's try a continuation bet. If we have shown strong preflop, we will have options to win the pot right here.
  • If we have the best play at the table, there is no color: a value bet is in our interest to increase the pot and protect our play.


  • We will go to increase the pot if we have the best hand, but be careful:
    • If we are not pot committed, bet between 75% and 100% of the pot.
    • If we are pot committed, we go all-in directly.
  • If we don't have the best hand or we think we don't have it, let's hold. Keep in mind that if we play IP we should not open the pot if we do not know for sure that we have the best cards.


  • If we think we have the best hand, we will go to raise the pot. Here we can:
    • Sell the nut (bet ¼ of the pot).
    • Bet half the pot (standard river bet).
    • Go all-in.
  • If we don't have the best cards and we play IP, we can only check and wait. Playing OOP you can bet ¼ of the pot.
  • If you want to burn all your options, you can try to bluff, but it is a desperate way to try to win the pot when you know for sure that you have no other way to fight it.

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